by Terrence J. McGregor, Chief of Emergency Services
LANCASTER—As the peak of hurricane season approaches, Lancaster County Emergency Services encourages residents to prepare for the possible effects of a tropical storm or hurricane.
One of the greatest risks that residents may face is coastal flooding. When tropical systems approach the area, the winds can drive the waters that surround us higher on shore, resulting in flooding. Historical storms such as Isabel in 2003, Ernesto in 2006, and Irene in 2011 are clear reminders that the storm paths only need to come close to the area to cause substantial damage.
In addition to coastal flooding, hurricanes or tropical storms can bring significant amounts of rain and result in inland flooding; high winds and tornadoes are also threats resulting from these storms. The impacts from a hurricane or tropical storm can vary greatly based upon a number of factors, including storm intensity (Category 1 through 5), speed, direction of the storm path and the effects of the tide cycle.
Recognizing the need to effectively communicate risk with our residents, Lancaster County Emergency Services has participated in the development of Virginia’s new evacuation zones. This was a cooperative effort among all hurricane-prone localities and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
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